It wasn't too many years ago that Netflix (NFLX 5.54%) was the only game in town when it came to streaming video. Those days are gone, and viewers now have a seemingly endless barrage of new services coming online. In the past two months alone, Apple and Disney (DIS 0.17%) have both thrown their hats in the ring with the launch of Apple TV+ and Disney+. In the coming months, even more choices will be coming online, with the debut of AT&T's (T 2.31%) HBO Max and Comcast's Peacock.
Consumers will be the ultimate winners from all these viewing choices, but it also begs the question: which streaming service has the greatest number of popular movies? A recent study commissioned by Kill the Cable Bill sought to answer that question, and what it found might surprise you.
And the winner is...
Kill the Cable Bill partnered with Mindnet Analytics and compared the movies found on the most popular streaming services, including Netflix, Amazon.com's (AMZN 4.44%) Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu, and HBO with IMDb's Top 250 movie list, based on rankings from the sites' users.
The results showed that Netflix had just 33 movies from the IMDb list, or about 13% of the most popular films. While that may not seem like it's worth writing home about, it was enough to vault the streaming pioneer to the No. 1 spot among streaming services. Amazon Prime Video came in at No. 2 with 22 films from the list or 9%, while Disney+ came in third, with 12 movies or 5%. Hulu and HBO rounded out the top five, with 10 and 2 films respectively from the list, coming in at 4% and 1%.
The dark horse
Netflix has developed a pretty solid reputation when it comes to its original television series, beginning with shows like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, which were among the streaming giant's breakout hits when it first began producing its original programming. Netflix's run of winners continues, with more recent fare including Stranger Things, Russian Doll, and Love, Death & Robots.
Yet for all its success in original series, Netflix's movies have been something of a mixed bag. The company's big-budget fantasy blockbuster Bright, which was released in 2017 starring fan favorite Will Smith, was widely panned by critics, garnering a 28% on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes (though audiences scored it at 84%). Western comedy The Ridiculous Six was universally reviled, with critic and audience scores of 0% and 33% respectively.
The company has been working to improve the reputation of its feature-length film offerings in recent years, and it's off to a good start.
A successful template
Netflix has been looking to reproduce the success it's had with its original series with its feature films. Several of the tech giant's recent releases soared up the IMDb charts to land on the Top 250 list. Divorce drama Marriage Story, starring Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver, and the Martin Scorsese-helmed mob epic The Irishman made the list, even though they were only released within the past month.
It's important to note, however, that the majority of Netflix movies on the list are licensed from other studios, so they will eventually drop off the platform. However, the company maintains the rights to its original creations, which become a permanent part of its content library, drawing in viewers for years to come.
Netflix is generating a lot of awards buzz around its recent films, including Dolemite is My Name, The Two Popes, and The Laundromat. These high-profile blockbusters help attract additional attention to the company, which will in turn attract new viewers and keep current customers coming back for more. With more than 158 million subscribers and millions more joining every quarter, Netflix's all-you-can-watch buffet of programming will continue to reward not only customers, but investors as well.